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A Green Budget for a Prosperous Canada

1 April, 2015

Were you excited to read our take on the supposed visionary green budget proposed by the federal government earlier today? Or did you catch on right away that anything received on April 1st should likely be taken with a grain of salt? It would certainly be a major about-face if the Canadian Government passed a bill restoring our environmental safety net. But there is no reason why it shouldn’t. Join us in urging the federal government to restore strong environmental legal protection for Canadians, democracy and the environment.

Were you excited to read our take on the supposed visionary green budget proposed by the federal government earlier today?

Green Groups Overjoyed by New Budget Bill, Contains Everything We Ever Wanted

1 April, 2015

Media Release: Green groups across Canada celebrate the new federal omnibus budget bill, which makes sweeping improvements to environmental laws in Canada and rectifies all the harm done by the last two omnibus bills, Bill C-38 and Bill C-45.  

[Update - noon, 1 April 2015: April Fools'!  But it shouldn't be a joke to expect strong environmental laws from the Canadian Government.  If you agree, click here to send a message to the Prime Minister.]

Federal government tables greenest budget bill in Canadian history, surprising environmental groups

Public interest legal organizations react to proposed BC Society Act changes

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

VANCOUVER – Legal organizations reacted today to the news that the provincial government has removed a problematic provision from its proposed new Society Act. Draft legislation had included a provision that would have made it possible for members of the public to file legal challenges against non-profits when, in the opinion of the individual, the non-profit had acted “to the detriment of the public interest”.

Mini-SLAPP provisions dropped from new BC Societies Act

25 March, 2015

Today Bill 24, a new Societies Act, was introduced in the BC Legislature. We are very happy to be able to confirm that the controversial “Section 99”, which had been proposed in a government discussion paper, has been dropped.  We’re inviting British Columbians to thank Finance Minister de Jong for listening to British Columbians. 

Today Bill 24, a new Societies Act, was introduced in the BC Legislature (government release here). We are very happy to be able to confirm that the controversial “Section 99”, which had been proposed in a government discussion paper, has been dropped.  We’re inviting British Columbians to thank Finance Minister de Jong for listening to British Columbians. 

Does Canada’s Pest Control Product Act protect farm workers?

17 February, 2015

It has been said that the measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members.  So when I recently testified the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health about Canada’s Pest Control Products Act (PCPA), I chose to focus my submissions on what we’ve learned from our past work with farm workers about how the PCPA does and does not protect farm workers.  I told the Committee that if the PCPA were appropriately implemented, it would go a long way to protecting farm workers, and the environment.  However, to date, it has not lived up to this potential – with the result that farm workers – as those most exposed to pesticides – continue to be subject to significant health risks.

It has been said that the measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members.  So when I recently testified the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health about Canada’s Pest Control Products Act (PCPA), I chose to focus my submissions on what we’ve learned from our past work with farm workers about how the PCPA does and does not protect farm workers.  Click on the player to hear my testimony (or download the .mp3 or

Financial Clout v. Right to Speak Out

13 February, 2015

“The right to speak is more precious than gold”. Members of the Wilderness Committee displayed these words proudly on the steps of the Supreme Court of BC as they prepared for a two-week hearing on a defamation claim by Taseko Mines Ltd. It only took one week working as a law student with West Coast Environmental Law to become attuned to one of the most significant issues related to the environmental law field in British Columbia, and to society at large: the conflict between large corporations engaged in resource extraction, and the voice of communities who are affected by or concerned about resource extraction activities.

“The right to speak is more precious than gold”. Members of the Wilderness Committee displayed these words proudly on the steps of the Supreme Court of BC as they prepared for a two-week hearing on a defamation claim by Taseko Mines Ltd.

Is this glass half full, and what should it cost?

11 February, 2015

Last Thursday (February 5th) the BC government unveiled its new pricing framework for water use in BC. The new pricing for BC water was undertaken after extensive public consultations, in which, the government reports, “a consistent message from British Columbians was that water is undervalued,” but the pricing regime for BC water still clocks in as among the lowest in the country. We take a look at what some businesses might expect to pay going forward. 

Is this glass half full, and what should it cost?

Kinder Morgan v. Freedom of Speech

21 January, 2015

To what extent does our society afford us a right to freedom of expression? This is a question Mr. Alan Dutton must be quizzically trying to answer as he finds himself tied up in a lawsuit with Kinder Morgan. The oil company claims $5.6 million in damages against him, arguably for no further reason than attending a protest on public land, encouraging others to do the same, and maintaining a website as a means of communication about the issue.

To what extent does our society afford us a right to freedom of expression?

Federal Court: Canada Acted Unconstitutionally in Ramming Through 2012 Environmental Law Changes

Monday, December 22, 2014

VANCOUVER, COAST SALISH TERRITORIES– The Federal Court of Canada has ruled that Canada failed to uphold its constitutional duties to the Mikisew Cree First Nation when it rammed through sweeping changes to federal environmental laws in 2012. West Coast Environmental Law congratulates the Mikisew Cree on their successful legal challenge to the federal government’s 2012 changes to environmental protection and assessment laws.

Top Environmental Law Alerts of 2014

19 December, 2014

It’s been a busy year – with West Coast sounding the alarm on some major changes to BC’s laws and analyzing and commenting on other legal issues related to the future of our communities and planet.  Thanks to the magic of Google Analytics we’re able to give you our 10 most-read posts of 2014

It’s been a busy year – with West Coast sounding the alarm on some major changes to BC’s laws and analyzing and commenting on other legal issues related to the future of our communities and planet.  Thanks to the magic of Google Analytics we’re able to give you our 10 most-read posts of 2014.

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